Day 3: How to avoid sea-sickness on a Navy ship

Murad Gazdiev
Murad Gazdiev, RT correspondent who has reported from a number of hot spots around the globe, including from the Syria-Turkish border, Yemen and Eastern Ukraine. He has also covered major international events, including Davos and the St. Petersburg economic forums, and even made a tour of duty with the crew of the Russian destroyer class Admiral Levchenko as it carried a military unit from the core base of Russia's Northern Fleet in Severomorsk to an unused former-Soviet base in the White Sea.
Day 3: How to avoid sea-sickness on a Navy ship
Everything is swaying! The ship, my head, my thoughts… I didn’t think the rocking would be this bad. The good news, at least according to what I’ve been told, is that it is temporary. Apparently the brain grows used to it, and you stop noticing it.

The officer assigned to us advised me to eat more. That, he says, fills up your stomach and stops nausea. And that brings me to my next point – the food is unexpectedly good, and there’s LOTS of it. There are 5 (!) meals a day.

Soup, the first course of lunch on board the Admiral Levchenko

Most meals are two courses, with a main course followed by dessert. To be fair, we eat in the officers’ dining hall, but apparently the sailors’ one has all the same food – minus the fine cutlery and decorations.

Another shot of food in the officers’ dining hall

The bad news is that no one here much cares that I can’t walk in a straight line – and the training program has already kicked off.

Right after lunch, alarms started blaring and everyone seemingly goes crazy. Crewmen and officers go sprinting for their battle stations, and we, the journalists, were invited to the bridge for this particular drill… which we did a report on.

After that, I managed to get a few hours rest…

Yes, that’s my bunk, the top one. My callous and cruel cameramen, Igor and Dmitry, have both been out to sea before, and knew to get to the cabin first so as to get the better bunks. Oh well, you live and learn. The ceiling is covered in plastic, so the dozen times or so I managed to bang my head against it on the first day didn’t do much damage.

In the evening, we were invited to another training exercise on the helicopter deck. There, the ship’s marines unit was practicing small arms fire… so assault rifles, machine guns and even RPG shots.

Video: /files/opinionpost/2d/8e/c0/00/vid_rpg_2.mp4

The guns are loud, and I mean REALLY loud. The pops that you hear in movies or the news are completely misleading… hearing a real gunshot on the TV would not be a pleasant experience.

The assault rifle and machine gun fire was unexpectedly loud, but the RPG shot was simply deafening and downright painful on the eardrums.

An hour after the exercise was over, I was still popping my ears trying to get my hearing back to normal.
I am not going to pass on the ear protectors next time.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.